OBESITY – A MODERN EPIDEMIC
Is obesity a problem in your life? The ‘obesity epidemic’ is well documented, and does not spare Coffs Harbour. 14 million Australians are now overweight or obese. Obesity has become the biggest single public health problem facing modern Australia.
What is obesity?
Obesity is an excessive accumulation of body fat. It is generally defined as BMI > 30 kg/m2.
It is now recognised as a chronic life-threatening illness, contributing to reduced quality of life and life expectancy. It is strongly associated with many other medical conditions such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Heartburn and reflux
- Obstructive sleep apnoea
Most of these related medical conditions (or ‘comorbibities’) can be improved or resolved with significant weight loss.
Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?
When conservative measures (diet and exercise) have failed to achieve long-term weight control, then surgery to control appetite and portion size may be an option in appropriately selected cases (as described in the NHMRC ‘Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, Adolescents and Children in Australia’ 2013).
Suitable candidates are
- usually between 18 and 65 years of age
- have a BMI of greater than 35 kg/m2 and associated comorbidity, or greater than 40 kg/m2 without comorbidity
- have failed to achieve and maintain weight loss despite a minimum of 6 months conservative measures
There are several different weight loss (or bariatric) surgical procedures performed in Australia. Dr Ramsay performs laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) in Coffs Harbour. Should there be any complicating factors requiring care in a tertiary centre, then a referral to specialist colleagues in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne can be arranged.
The choice of procedure needs to be discussed following assessment and consultation with your surgeon, who will guide you through the appropriate options. Research has shown that weight loss surgery is more successful if provided as part of a Mutidisciplinary Team. All patients are assessed by Mrs Kyla Holley, psychotherapist, and Mrs Lauren Stephens, dietician, prior to surgery. Their ongoing support and review after operation is vital for optimal results. Occasionally other medical specialists/therapists will be involved in ongoing care.
Your safety and long-term health is always our primary concern.